ABC News issued a “clarification” on Friday night for a report delivered in the wake of the bombshell news that former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
Brian Ross reported on ABC News that according to a Flynn confidant, “[Flynn] is prepared to testify that President Trump, as a candidate … ordered him, directed him to make contact with the Russians.”
However, over seven hours later, CNN broke the news that ABC News would be issuing a correction clarifying that Trump was president-elect when he ordered Flynn to reach out to Russia.
Ross delivered a statement on TV which read:
“A clarification tonight on something one of Flynn’s confidants told us and we reported earlier today. He said the president had asked Flynn to contact Russia during the campaign.
He’s now clarifying that, saying according to Flynn, candidate Trump asked him during the campaign to find ways to repair relations with Russia and other hot spots, and then after the election, the president-elect asked him, told him to contact Russia on issues, including working together to fight ISIS.”
The network later released a full “clarification”:
During a live Special Report, ABC News reported that a confidant of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that then-candidate Donald Trump instructed Flynn to contact Russian officials during the campaign. That source later clarified that during the campaign, Trump assigned Flynn and a small circle of other senior advisers to find ways to repair relations with Russia and other hot spots. It was shortly after the election, that President-elect Trump directed Flynn to contact Russian officials on topics that included working jointly against ISIS.
Many on Twitter quickly pointed out the significance of ABC News's update to the story. Shortly after the initial report, the stock market sank:
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) December 1, 2017
The ABC report that caused the stock market to temporarily drop sharply was incorrect on at least one key point: https://t.co/QDCD1VpDjp
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) December 1, 2017
This is a massive “clarification.” Wow. https://t.co/P8b8sIazQy
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) December 2, 2017
That's a huge correction https://t.co/EIMaE0EkGu
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) December 1, 2017
Watch the on-air statement below:
ABC News has since issued a correction on the report broadcast earlier today clarifying that their source now says the actual order from Trump did not come until after the election. pic.twitter.com/3f7Ub4N9tD
— NavyJack (@USNJack) December 2, 2017